If you were an American visitor in Paris, this morning you probably read this stunning op ed, by the Palestinian writer Yousef Munayyer. It describes in matter-of-fact language the Israeli regulations which prevent he and his wife from traveling to their native towns in Israel and West Bank. In passing it reviews some of the Israeli regulations designed to drive Palestinians out of Palestine. It personalizes a reality that few Americans would tolerate if they understood it. Munayyer’s conclusion — noting that of all the things American and Israel share, democratic values isn’t one of them — I suspect will become a point much debated in the years to come.
But the editors of the Times, in their wisdom, apparently decided that the piece isn’t suitable for American readers — you can find it in the International Herald Tribune (a Times publication) and on their website, but you won’t get it delivered with your morning coffee.
On another press related matter: I’m away, and haven’t tracked the American coverage of the race riots in Israel — that is Israeli Jews rioting against African immigrant asylum seekers, going on a rampage of rock-throwing and window-breaking after being stirred up by some Likud members of Parliament. I’m a moderate immigration restrictionist myself and have always felt that too much immigration poses risks to social cohesion. But I’m no fan of racist pogroms, which is what this was.
Something tells me that if right-wing youths in Germany or France started smashing cars with immigrant drivers and breaking windows of immigrant businesses after being stirred up by xenophobic speeches from right wing politicians, it would be a major story in the American press, and we’d be hearing a plenty of concern about ugly hatreds evocative of the dark days of the past century, etc. Readers can let me know if the rioting white youth of Israel have provoked this kind of commentary in the U.S., but I have my doubts.